Articles from Working In These Times

In Defense of the Campus: Why the Left Must Not Write Off Universities

Higher education in the United States has long been subject to a right-wing smear campaign painting college campuses as incubators for dangerous radicalism. There is little doubt that the election of President Donald Trump, who ran a campaign with explicit anti-intellectual currents, has increased its ferocity.

Meet the Rough-and-Tumble Ironworker Ready to Unseat Paul Ryan

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. Since election night 2016, the streets of the United States have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this series, we'll be talking with experienced organizers, troublemakers, and thinkers who have been doing the hard work of fighting for a long time. They'll be sharing their insights on what works, what doesn't, and what has changed, and what is still the same.

Meet the Mom-and-Pop Company That Went from Union-Friendly to Union-Busting

When Louis Chiarelli reflects on his 26 years at Long Island beer distributor Clare Rose, he remembers a family culture, company-wide vacations and the firm’s second-generation owners waiting late into holiday nights for drivers to return from their routes.

But now he finds himself standing across the picket line from his long-time employer. He’s one of more than 100 warehouse workers and drivers who have been on strike since Clare Rose slashed drivers’ wages and ended their pension plan, after allegedly failing to budge significantly in negotiations. 

How Union-Busting Bosses Propel the Right Wing to Power

U.S. bosses fight unions with a ferocity that is unmatched in the so-called free world. In the early days of the republic, master craftsmen prosecuted fledgling unions as criminal conspiracies that aimed to block their consolidation of wealth and property.

Thousands of Haitian Workers Are on Strike Against Foreign-Owned Sweatshops

Thousands of textile workers in Haiti have stopped work in factories and taken to the streets to demand of improved working conditions in the country’s maquiladora export industry. For more than three weeks, workers have mobilized to demand higher wages, an eight-hour workday and protections against increased quotas across the industrial centers of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Ounaminthe and Caracol.

The strike follows the annual commemoration of International Workers’ Day.

A Day in the Life of a Day Laborer

CHICAGO—Come sunrise, the men fill the street corner, among them Luis, quietly sitting by himself, nurturing hopes for work today.

There was no work yesterday, nothing the day before and nothing for weeks.

Still, the 50-year-old Guatemalan, who didn’t want his last name used, waits in the growing heat, saying he has no other choice.

He waits even though he hates day labor work, because he says it is sometimes dangerous, barely enough to live on, and some of the men on the street corner have bullied and hurt him on the job.

What You Need to Know About the General Strike That Just Swept Colombia’s Largest Port

Little-noticed by the English-language media, the Colombian city of Buenaventura was brought to a standstill by a weeks-long civic strike, in which Afro-Colombian communities won major commitments from the Colombian government. Waged from May 16 through June 6, the mass protest was organized by people demanding that the government declare a state of social and economic emergency and provide basic quality-of-life improvements for a population that has been targeted by systematic human rights violations for decades.

Cab Drivers Union Says Chicago Taxi Industry Is Nearing Collapse

Ghana-born John Aikins has been a cab driver in Chicago for two decades. About 15 years ago, he decided to go into business for himself by taking out a loan with his wife to purchase a medallion—a city-issued license to operate a taxi—for $70,000. Paying it off within a few years thanks to a steady stream of passengers, they took out loan for a second medallion five years ago, using the first as collateral.

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